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Seroquel: Splitting Extended Release Tablets?

Seroquel extended release splitting pills

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7 replies to this topic

#1 Magnolia67

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:34 PM

I have a serious case of BP l and have been on various (of course, various!) med combinations for flippin' 28 years (omg and WTF - I just counted that for the first time...jeezz..).
Anyway, I've been under the care of a GP at a low-cost clinic for about 3 years. Because he's not a shrink I've been reluctant to try any major changes in my regimen, despite having a pretty consitent depression and fatigue for a long time.
I've always tried to be a really involved, pro-active patient, but the last few years have worn me down. (Primarly suffering through 12 different psychiatrists at a Community Mental Health center. When it became un-free I had no place to go. On waitting list now for the only doc I can afford). Something recently made me check out this site again and I've gotten a new pissed-off energy going about my care.
Well that's just background. Hope it might help with any comments.

Here's my question:
Right now I am considering reducing my Seroquel XR. I take 300mg at bedtime. It sometimes helps me sleep but not great like some people might think. But I suspect that it may be the reason for my extreme inabilty to wake up in the morning. That's with an alarm - for workdays. I can crash until 11:00 am on my own.

Will splitting a 300mg XR Seroquel REALLY make it ineffective. My GP had me try this last year during a failed attempt to get me off it. He said it didn't matter if it was a tablet. Wondering now if I what I thought was a 150mg dose could have been a whole lot of nothing and a sure, swift road to discontinuation syndrome.

I'm going back to work next week and I need to get the f*** out of bed on time. Thanks for your help.
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#2 tigs

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 05:45 AM

I've seen an answer to that on the boards before and will quote it for you here:

I thought I read somewhere that it wasn't a good idea to use a splitter on the XR tablets.


Never split XR/CR/XL/ER/etc. pills. It defeats the purpose.


/from this thread: http://www.crazymeds...ng-seroquel-xr/
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#3 Serpens

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 08:03 AM

Never split XR tabs. It can cause the entire dose to release too rapidly, or seriously mess up the tablet's pharmacological properties.

Discuss with your doctor, as you can get an Xr 150 tab. There is also generic Seroquel IR available now for nearly dirt cheap prices.
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#4 Artemisia

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 08:31 AM

Splitting it would probably make in behave more like the immediate release version. Probably, but anything could happen. For all I know, the release speed could vary from dose to dose even. I don't know how the release mechanism in this medication works.

In general, it's a bad idea to split extended release tablets. Especially if you have a seizure disorder or something like that. Many psych meds (including Seroquel) can lower a person's seizure threshold...

I wouldn't do it without first talking to your psychiatrist and a pharmacist. But 150 mg XR tablets are available. I would advise using those instead. There are also immediate release tablets, which are safer to split.
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Current meds: sertraline 100mg, cetirizine 5mg, zolpidem 2.5 mg

#5 Magnolia67

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 10:54 AM

Thanks Tigs, Serpens, and Artemisia.

It felt like this was a dumb question but I wanted to hear from experienced voices. The suggestions that splitting would result in uneven doses, and uncertain absorbtion - "anything could happen" have been really helpful esp. because it's given me some language to apply to this. Won't do it. And what also feels dumb is that I certainly would not recommend this to anyone else.

Some challenges (or, whatever, I don't know what to call them; just details about my situation) are that I get my meds free from AZ and get a 90-day supply at a time. I don't recall that I've changed my dosage with them.... Fortunately, I just had to make an appt. with my GP to pick them up Thurs. They have a program where a case manager does all paperwork for you, so I've decided to make it a point to talk to her, too, regardless.

If anyone newly diagnosed is reading this I'd like to add something else: I'm not on the extended release version because it was a psychiatrist's prescription. It's only because that's what was available in samples from my GPs office when I started seeing him so he just wrote the script based on that. And I was feeling too depressed and passive to address it.

So my word of advice is that if you have any questions about your treatment - no matter if they seem dumb or weird - ASK. It's so easy to be intimidated by doctors, I know. Ask here first if that's more comfortable. Old School advice but I'd like to pass on something gleaned from experience.
btw I'm (only) 45yo. First got psych meds at 17, after a suicide attempt. That's where my "28 years" comes from.
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#6 litgirl

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 05:05 PM

Ive split ex release Seroquel with no problems. Stupid, I know, but I've done it. Probably does make it more like reg release but I never noticed a big change in the ir compared to er anyway. Not saying this is smart, just saying I've done it with no terrible consequences.
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Zyprexa Zydis 30 mg, Topamax 100mg, Wellbutrin 300mg, Seroquel 400 mg, Provigil 200mg PRN, Xanax 1mg PRN


#7 racingmind

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 02:41 PM

I split it if I'm trying to crash quicker. Splitting the pill allows it to get absorbed quicker.
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#8 LadleFullOfNeurons

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 02:13 PM

"Will splitting a 300mg XR Seroquel REALLY make it ineffective. My GP had me try this last year during a failed attempt to get me off it. He said it didn't matter if it was a tablet. Wondering now if I what I thought was a 150mg dose could have been a whole lot of nothing and a sure, swift road to discontinuation syndrome."

I had exactly the same issue. Had to get up early in mornings with my baby and disabled wife. I'm taking 700mg of Seroquel XR and mornings were dreadful. I tried to dissolve one 300mg tablet and half of a 300 mg tablet (150mg) in a small bottle of water. Occasionally I gave the bottle a shake. After 12 hours they had both dissolved at the same rate with half of each being left over. This did not marry with the suggested half-life of 6 hours but there are some experts that say the half-life is actually 7-12 hours.

This experiment was, on the whole, flawed from the outset as a small bottle of water cannot replicate the mechanisms of the human stomach/digestive system. Regardless, I tried taking two 300 miligram tablets split in half and the sedating feeling was stronger in the morning perhaps because the tablets were allowed to be released much quicker having been split in half.

In my efforts to try and offset the sedation with my lifestyle whilst trying not to compromise my mental health the conclusion I drew was perhaps the only sensible part of my experiment - splitting the extended release tablet is counter-productive and in some instances may even lead to an overdose or cause a serious accident due to the sedation. The sedative in this tablet should not be taken lightly.

I would strongly not recommend splitting your Seroquel XR tablets and I would view my above experiment as a moment of idiocy.

Seroquel is popular over here in the United Kingdom on the black market due to its sedating effects being similar or even stronger to that of benzodiazepines.

I have now changed to Atrolak, a gerneric version of Seroquel as AstraZeneca's license on Seroquel has now expired. Atrolak in my opinion is more sedating but I don't get any of the other side effects that I had with AstraZeneca's Seroquel. I am currently liaising with my psychiatrist to try and balance out the sedating effects with my lifestyle whilst still ensuring my bipolar is under control - something I should have perhaps done at the very start. But hey, things change and sometimes we have to adapt to those changes by altering our medication under supervision.

Warm regards
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